(I just had an afternoon hike at Silver Creek Falls yesterday with our daughter, Teresa. What a beautiful day, and beautiful daughter! The above picture was taken during that hike… I will also share a few more pics at the end of this post, for those of you who may be interested.)
Teresa shared the following video taped message with our BTTI churches in the Philippines recently. It’s was a great blessing!
Hebrews 12:1-3. ..let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on (looking to) Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up…
DEFINITION: A heavy object, one that is being lifted or carried…
A barrier that stands in the way. If we’re not careful these things can become weights on our shoulder. Let’s not let obstacles hinder us, or stand in our way!
Remember Pilgrim’s burden on his back? When Pilgrim met Jesus, he lost the burden on his back.
Psalm 38:4 – For my iniquities are gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
I Peter 5:7 – …casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Matthew 11:28-30 – (JESUS) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden (heavily burdened; carrying heavy loads), and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Special note: Jesus can bring peace to our troubled hearts and minds.
Which of the above illustrations is the best illustration of a Christian? BOTH!
The Lord can help us be free from the worries and anxieties of life, even in the midst of the battles of life and our fights of faith!
The Lord has provided a special day, a day of rest for us to rest and be refreshed from our labors. Do we appreciate it, and practice it? We can learn to rest in the Lord, and experience peace in the midst of the storms…
BE WISE – BE RIGHTEOUS
Matthew 10:16 – I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Proverbs 28:1 – The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as BOLD AS LIONS.
Jesus – Commander of angel armies is fighting with us, and for us! That’s why we can be BOLD!
We can be bold when we are living righteously, and are FULL OF FAITH! We need to be people of FAITH these days!
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES and giants
There will be things that try to stop you. There will be giants that come against you. (Stress; fear; doubt; anxiety; sin; deception; lies; media;…)
We are victorious, giant slayers!
Let’s determine to be a spotless, pure bride for Jesus when He comes!
TREASURED PEOPLE OF GOD
Deuteronomy 7:6 – “The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Special note: We are His people, called by His name.
1 Peter 4:16 – But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name!
JESUS IS A CHAMPION
Hebrews 12:2 – We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
John 16:33 – “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Daniel was commanded not to pray. Because of his faithful obedience and willingness to pray, he was severely persecuted. However, he willingly counted the cost and continued to trust God. He was divinely and miraculously protected!
Christians are being targeted for their faith. We have heard that theTaliban has been going door to door, accumulating a list of people who have the Bible app on their phones to persecute.
Special note: Let’s not take our Bibles and the Bible app for granted! Let’s continue to read the Bible, and study diligently!
Polycarp was a famous martyr, who died for his faith. He was among countless others who have been wiling to stand for their faith in the midst of severe persecution. According to historical writings, Polycarp was bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body.
SUFFERING FOR JESUS
Philippians 1:29 – “For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake, not only to believe and confidently trust in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” (AMP)
John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Special note: This last year has had many troubles. Jesus said there was coming a greater time of trouble in the world than there has ever been before in history. Let’s take heart! Because Jesus has overcome, we can also overcome!
“There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for Him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting…” (MSG)
Carrying His name comes with certain privileges that are not always “easy”.
“Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
Hebrews 12:5-6 – “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.”
BECOMING LIKE JESUS
As sons and daughters of God, we actually come to resemble the Son of God!
Romans 8:29 – “For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
As children of God, we have the privilege of bearing the image, the name, the reputation and the mission of our Heavenly Father.
Recently Colleen was given a prophetic dream of the Lord as a gigantic, roaring lion! It is an encouraging vision of the power of God being released to the earth! He is the God of angel armies! The lion of Judah is fighting with us and for us, and will help us! HALLELUJAH!
PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
What are the things in my life that may be holding me back, or weighing me down?
What are some practical ways that I can “fix my eyes on Jesus”?
What does it look like for me to “wise as a serpent” and “gentle as a dove”?
How can I be “bold as a lion” this week and allow my faith to be public?
So many people are living in darkness and sin, outcasts and orphans. Are you willing to reach out to them and help rescue them from destruction?
Special Acknowledgment: Thanks to Teresa Jaquith for helping prepare this message, and for video taping it to be shared at our online service.
Here are a few more pictures taken on our special hike yesterday at Silver Creek Falls that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, for those of you that may be interested…